Joanne’s Catechist Calling
Being a Catechist is both a calling and privilege. Sharing the love of almighty God to school students is what Catechists do weekly in Public Schools, and it is something everyone should be able to experience. Through your support, you can help Catechists like Joanne.
“In 1980, recently married, I moved from Canberra to Sydney and was working full-time. After a few years of the daily grind, I decided to leave work. I realised I didn’t have many local friends, and wanted to get more involved in the community.
My Catechesis ministry began in 1985, when I asked our parish priest how best to serve in the parish, and he referred me to the Catechist Coordinator. This became quite a “what have I gotten myself into!” moment. The Coordinator took me along to a lesson for me to experience, and in the middle, told me to take over the class. From then on, I signed up, never imagining that I would still be involved 35 years later!
I became the Coordinator around 1995, and in 2001 gave up regular teaching, finding myself less patient with the students. Being childless myself didn’t help in this regard. I now fill in for other catechists when required, and I find this relief teaching more enjoyable.
But why did I start, and why did I stay? I guess, quite simply, it is because I believe that all Catholic children in government schools have the right to hear about God’s abundant love, manifested in Jesus Christ. Secondarily, it is a significant and important evangelising outreach of the parish, apart from the good work of the parish school.
I have enjoyed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine training, and learned much to help my own faith life, particularly from Dr Charles Hill in the Catechist Ministry Certificate. And of course, I have made many friends and met many inspiring and generous faith-filled people.
To remain a Catechist, one has to come to terms with not expecting immediate results from the students, but knowing that you have nurtured their faith along the way. My Catechist work has helped me, too, as a believer! Our faith gives us hope that we will see the fruits of our labour, when God calls us to eternal life.”
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Sydney recently celebrated ‘Catechist Sunday’ on the 6th February, in thanksgiving for all catechists who have given service, but particularly those who are celebrating their 5th, 10th, and 15th years of service. Please remember these men and women in your prayers.
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